Regardless of your company’s size, it’s imperative to create a sense of unity among your employees. Reinforcing a cooperative mindset can increase productivity and improve results. If you’re looking for some key ways to enhance your company culture and create a team atmosphere, then check out these great tips for bringing your employees together.
No one wants to work for a company that makes him or her feel like he or she isn't valued enough to be included in what’s going on. As a leader in your company, it’s up to you to share your goals with your employees so that everyone can work together effectively. Maintaining a high level of transparency in your company deconstructs any sense of separation that might distance employees in different company roles. Transparency replaces the illusion of "us and them" by keeping everyone on the same page and reinforcing the fact that all employees are on the same team.
One of the best ways to bring your employees together is to engage them in company activities as a group. Company activities could be anything from an office potluck party that includes some casual games to a company-wide fitness challenge that encourages everyone to get in better shape together. Activities such as different employee wellness challenges can do a lot to bring people together and help them learn to work better as a team to achieve a goal. Motivating everyone to better himself or herself pushes people to notice one another’s value as individuals and provide mutual encouragement. These seemingly subtle differences can completely transform your company culture into one of warmth, mutual appreciation, and support.
People want their accomplishments to be acknowledged and their efforts to be appreciated. When employees feel like their hard work goes unnoticed, they may become disheartened or feel like a less important member of the team. Take a few minutes during each meeting to dole out a few compliments and reinforce the good efforts that your employees have been making. Give them a platform to express gratitude toward one another as well.
A company’s culture is central to how well it functions, and bringing employees together is bound to improve the workplace atmosphere. By being transparent and sharing your goals and plans with your employees, you’ll help them feel like valued members of the team and encourage them to take a vested interest in company activities. Engaging everyone in company activities and providing positive feedback will also help you to bring your employees together for a more effective team.
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If your business uses large machines to move dirt, to lift objects into place, or to retrieve inventory for high places, those machines need to be operated safely. This means that they will need to be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that no mechanical problems occur. Furthermore, you will need to train your employees to minimize the chances that human error results in injuries or death.
According to Creative Safety Supply, heavy machinery includes forklifts, for which OSHA requires operators to be trained and certified. Even if OSHA didn't require workers to be certified to use the equipment, it is still a good idea to institute a universal safety program. This ensures that both new and veteran workers understand how to operate any machine that they use. It can also help to ensure that they know what to do when in the vicinity of a large machine.
Equipment that is low on oil may not start or may seize up while it is being used. If a machine has any cracks, rust, or other visible damage, it should be taken out of service until the issue is fixed. In some cases, dents or rust can eat away at a vehicle or other heavy machinery, which can put a worker's safety in jeopardy. Using damaged vehicles, forklifts, or other items may decrease their viability, and that could result in spending more money than necessary to keep the company running. Ideally, according to the Heavy Equipment Colleges of America, inspections will be done by someone who is thorough, who pays attention to details, and who is concerned more with safety than with getting a job done quickly.
An insurance policy can provide financial protection in the event of an accident. For instance, if the machine were to break or to get stolen, an insurance policy may pay the cost of repairing or replacing it. A liability insurance policy may help to pay for most or all of the damage caused in a workplace accident involving the negligent use of a machine.
It is important for a company to do whatever it takes to ensure that it operates safely. If you aren't sure what your obligations are to employees, it may be worth your time to speak with an OSHA representative. It may also be possible to schedule an OSHA visit during which the representative will point out potential violations without actually citing the business for them.
As the wars of the past decade come to an end, the business community will soon see an influx of veterans entering the job market. However, some are preferring to create their own job rather than become an employee. Did you know that it's widely said that veterans make better entrepreneurs than the average citizen? The following list details some of the ways that military veterans have a leg up on the competition.
They Make Sense of the Chaos
Any veteran who has seen combat will tell you that the one thing that can save your life is making sense of the chaos around you. Entrepreneurship deals a lot with these types of situations. Sure, a business decision is generally not life-threatening, but panicking and making all the wrong decisions can quickly end your business. That is why veterans are often said to be the best people to make tough decisions when time is a factor, and it's a trait they will no doubt implement as entrepreneurs.
Vets Know How to Lead
The marketplace demands leadership, and there are no better people to provide that leadership than military veterans. Taking charge of a team on the field and in the boardroom is crucial to survival. Not only are your chances of victory increased, but your whole team wins as well. There are plenty of examples of veterans translating their skills to the business world. Veteran-owned company JDog Junk just opened its 200th Franchise, with 90 percent of franchises also owned by veterans. This is but one of thousands of success stories involving veteran-owned businesses.
They Are Fully Dedicated
Signing up to serve your country is not something that you somewhat dedicate yourself to; it's your life. Many veterans join the military to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Therefore, when a veteran decides to create their own business, you know that they are going to be fully dedicated to the success of that company.
They're Effective Communicators
Veterans are often the best when it comes to communicating with others. Their field experience, where communication is key, provides them with an advantage over the competition. Where others might shy away from a suggestion or demand, veterans understand that opportunities should be taken advantage of and will effectively communicate with people to make things happen.
The technological innovations of the past few years have provided veterans the ability to create their own livelihoods. They no longer have to settle for ordinary careers where their skills aren't used to their full extent.
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When running a franchise, having the right team in place is a critical part of long-term business success. In today's candidate-driven market, however, finding the right candidate can be quite difficult but not impossible. The trick is to know how to find and identify top talent candidates that are ideal for your franchise. Here's a look at three tips to help you achieve hiring success in your business.
Use Networks and Connections to Find Potential Employees
According to Quartz at Work, “studies reveal that the average person has 611 network connections, including friends, former classmates and colleagues, mentors, vendors, and more.” As a franchise owner, you likely have an even larger networking base. This network opens a huge opportunity for sourcing top-quality candidates. Don't be shy about tapping into these connections and asking for referrals. This step will not only increase the number of applicants you have to select from, but it also will improve the quality of your hire.
Use Pre-Employment Assessments
Sourcing quality candidates is just the first step. You also must know how to identify which candidates are the best fit for your franchise. One of the fastest and most efficient ways to filter through your applicants is with pre-employment assessments. According to The Hire Talent, “testing to measure a candidate's hard skills during your hiring process allows you to save time down the road by validating and ensuring that your new hire has the skills that you want and need in your position.” Most importantly, these pre-employment tests allow you to weed out those candidates that might look good on paper but that lack the basic skills your company needs. Making sure you only hire candidates that have the right skills can help you save time and money in the long run.
Use Employee Referrals
According to The HR Tech Weekly, “from a recent survey, 82 percent of employers rank employee referrals as their top sourcing method. Not only can this recruitment technique improve the quality of your hire, but it also can reduce the time to hire, improve new-hire assimilation time, and increase retention rates.” Your employees have a unique understanding of the company culture, and they know what the job entails. It seems only natural that your employees could use this insight to identify people that they know who have the right skills, attributes, and personalities to perform the job.
Incorporating these three tips into your hiring strategy can help you save both time and money. Even more importantly, using the right resources to source and identify the right candidates will improve the quality of your hire and will help your business grow. Don't settle for mediocre employees when you can have the best by using the right hiring tactics.
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The business world sometimes appears full of automatons. Working like a robot has the benefits of keeping an employee away from controversy, but the approach won't help someone wishing to get ahead. Standing out positively often leads people to success. How can you stand out under the bright light of excellence? Here are three ways traits that will help you to do just that.
Innovators and originators can achieve more than copycats. Small Business Trends explains that a business professional who brings something new and exciting to the table could create a trend that reaps incredible profits. Look at Tony Hawk, the skateboarding entrepreneur. Skateboarding remained a popular subculture for decades and spawned many cottage industries. Hawk, however, took things in a new direction and devised a billion-dollar skateboarding empire.
That said, originators will always deal with detractors. Great new ideas regularly face rejection. Radical and revolutionary ideas upset people stuck in a comfort zone. If you believe in your plans, don't let naysayers discourage you. Be flexible enough to withstand constructive criticism, and keep going forward to promote your ideas.
Sadly, integrity isn't always the most common trait among people in the business world. So, someone with integrity garners attention. Honest workers and managers are an asset to a company and the entire business world.
The idea of the corporate whistleblower typifies integrity. Meissner Associates says that finding out that the business you work for is engaging in fraudulent activity can put you in a tough position to decide if you should expose their wrongdoing, or do you remain silent. People with integrity usually make the right decision regarding whistleblowing. Let the image of the whistleblower be your guide.
The stereotype of business professionals focusing only on making money and selfish pursuits isn't always accurate. Unfortunately, many professionals do become self-absorbed and greedy. Would Bill Gates fall under that description? Microsoft's leader spent countless hours raising and donating money for charitable causes. While the average worker can't match Gates' monetary contributions, they can match his passion and attitude. Even doing "little things" for others could paint a tremendously positive picture of you.
The London Business School recommends that you allow your standing in the business community act as a way of doing good things. Explore philanthropical endeavors, and don't always focus on personal gain. Others will notice your selflessness. Ironically, you may experience career success by putting others' needs ahead of your own.
Success in the business world requires that you appear unique. Embracing endearing traits helps with this goal. Each individual has a set of personality strengths. Play to your strengths, and create the best quality work you can produce. Standing out requires more than fits and spurts of effort; apply yourself consistently in the workplace, and you will see good results.
Want to learn more ways to make your business stand out and thrive? Check out more content like this from our Video Ideas for a Better Business Life!
For many, the commute to work and back home represents a lot of wasted time. The longest average commute, each way, in the US is a little over 43 minutes in New York City. This adds up to over 9,000 hours a year spent sitting in a car or public transportation. However, your commute does not have to suck. Here are four ways to make your commute better and safer.
Use the Time to Learn Something
It can be helpful to use all the time spent commuting to learn something. There is a wide range of podcasts and audiobooks to appeal to anyone. Whether you want to catch up on the daily news, discover what is happening in the world of tech, or explore developments in psychology, educational audio entertainment can not only make your commute seem shorter but also convert time that would have otherwise been wasted into productive time.
Know the Blind Spots
When you drive the same route every day, it can be easy to go into autopilot and neglect safe driving habits. However, safety is vital and the most important part of driving safely is knowing your blind spots. Commercial trucks have many blind spots and when driving, don't assume everyone will turn their heads. Knowing where the blind spots of your own car are and being aware that others may not always check their own blind spots can reduce the risk of accidents and make your commute safer.
Plan Your Time
One of the biggest stressors during a commute is running into unexpected traffic and being late for work. Allocating extra time for your drive can alleviate this stress and make your drive easier. Additionally, leaving earlier in the morning can sometimes mean fewer cars on the road, leading to a safer and more relaxing drive. There are even apps available that will notify you when the best time to leave is so you will hit the least amount of traffic during your drive.
Disconnect from Your Phone
A key part of driving safely is ensuring that there are little to no distractions in the car. Cell phones, however, are a major distraction while driving and can severely increase the risk of a crash. Disconnecting from your phone can make your drive more relaxing, but more importantly, it increases the safety of your drive.
A commute, long or short, can be draining. No one likes to be in the car for a long time. However, with these tips in mind, you can make them safer and even enjoyable.
If you’re looking for something to listen to while you drive, take a look at this article that includes some of the best ways you can set up your phone apps and car to listen to music and podcasts while you drive!
Toxic employees drag everyone down with them. Bad attitudes and inappropriate conduct make other employees feel uncomfortable. Managers find themselves constantly distracted dealing with disasters these troubling hires cause. Firing them may put an end to current miseries, but the effects of toxic employees can linger long after they are shown the door. The best way to deal with toxic employees is not to hire them in the first place. Here are three ways to avoid making a regrettable hiring decision.
Look at Employment History
Horrible employees likely have a long and dubious track record of poor performance. Look closely at an applicant's prior employment history for any red flags. Was the person locked into low-level work for years without any promotions? Did he/she jump from job to job frequently? According to Palmer Group, this can show that an employee could have a behavior issue. Probe these areas of concern, and see what the full story is. Taking the employee's word for everything might not be enough, though. Contact references and past employers to confirm any explanations. Remember, the past may be a good indicator of the employee's future.
Put Them Through an Attitude Test
Not every human resource department relies on an attitude test when screening would-be employees, but their inclusion could be helpful. According to The Hire Talent, attitude tests look for signs of toxic traits like blame, dishonesty, unsupportiveness, criticism, and negativity. Once these traits reveal themselves, a personnel manager can make a more informed decision. Hire someone to train HR in effectively administering an attitude test if no current managers possess the skill. In an office environment, teamwork can be crucial for success. If an attitude test reveals someone is argumentative or hostile, then he/she may not be the right match for the team. Look over the results of the test carefully when weighing different hiring choices. Anyone with toxic traits is not likely a good fit.
Screen Social Media Feeds
According to Law Depot, approximately 70 percent of employers screen a candidate’s social media when making hiring decisions. People reveal a lot about themselves on social media. Sadly, many show shockingly negative personality traits. Inappropriate or adversarial behavior on social media may spread to the workplace. Don't ignore how someone acts online; he or she probably acts that way everywhere. An employee becomes the face of a company to others. When that person acts outrageously on social media, he or she may drag the company into an embarrassing position. A business might even need to hire a PR firm to dig it out of an employee's social-media-created hole.
Toxic employees create havoc wherever they go. Make sure you are confident you aren't hiring one the next time a position opens. By following these tips, you can be less likely to hire an employee that will cause you problems.
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Most large businesses have an IT team that is responsible for protecting data and networking the computers used by employees. In many cases, the IT department can be ignored or isn't given enough attention from upper management. If you manage or own a business, there are a few things that you need to know to get the most out of your IT team.
How Much to Budget
Depending on the industry, good IT can cost a bit of money because the technology likely affects your customers. Technology is a key driving force in every business market, which makes IT teams more in demand. IT teams can also cost more because they're responsible for accommodating the re-occurring wave of change while embracing technology as a partner rather than a commodity. Companies that sell technology as a product will likely have lower costs than those that sell products like tacos or buildings. Investing more money in IT may be a sacrifice but can have a positive impact on each department and aspect of the business.
If you make the mistake of getting hooked on buzzwords as a business, then you will quickly find yourself bloated with useless hardware and incompatible software, which can make your IT team confused and ineffective. Do you know the difference between ITIL and ITSM? Using confusing acronyms can only lead to issues and complications that occur down the road.
Many businesses fail to have an IT plan or strategy, which is critical to the operation of their business with the type of software that is used. Many businesses often assume that technology can compensate for mistakes that are often made, but it is actually a force multiplier for the business. It can save money, attract more business, and boost the productivity of your team. You'll need to work closely with your IT team to develop a strategy and research the top software that can be utilized. Work with a professional that can help you to identify that IT structure that is needed to support the business and also plan for the future.
Businesses that understand the importance of their IT team often succeed because they utilize what the department has to offer. With the right software used and a plan created, you'll likely obtain more success in the industry.
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